A Forest Interlude

I made my annual pilgrimage to Salzburg, Austria in September to attend the premiere of a dear friends new movie and to promote my new book “Ariaaisms~ Spiritual Food for the Soul” which made its debut on Amazon.com in early September. I have traveled to Austria every year for more than 20 years now ever since my near death experience in the Alps which altered my entire life path.

Walking on cobblestone streets where Mozart walked each day as the smell of baking bread hovers in the air while ancient cathedral bells clang still telling time in the old fashioned way, are a few of the many reasons I am always drawn back to the same vacation year after year.

This trip provided me several new and wonderful events, one of which I would love to share with the world as it moved my heart and soul into high places; that was the “re-connection” with someone I obviously knew in another place and time long before I was Ariaa. The connection was so intense and so profound that it is not one I will soon forget.

Ute and I met at the movie premiere and within a day and a half were romping through the magical forests of Salzburg. The plush green forest and steely blue water falls lie at the base of a very special mountain. Many Americans know it as the place seen in the movie “The Sound of Music” in the opening and closing shots but I know it because of its many legends. It is a mountain that the Dalai Lama said the mountain is the “heart chakra of Europe.”

From  http://www.thelivingmoon.com: Untersberg is mysterious and legendary: The Untersberg – called “sleeping dragon” by the Dalai Lama. The myths tell about time portals, lost persons and wondrous mountain dwellers like dwarfs. According to a legend, these dwarfs digged out the more than 400 caves in the Untersberg. But this is only one of many speculations about the mountain.

It is rumored, that emperor Karl the Great (similar is claimed about Friedrich Barbarossa) sleeps in the mountain in a subterranean throne room together with his truthful knights and dwarfs for more than a thousand years. He´ll awake to the last battle between Good and Evil, when his beard has grown around his armor table 3 times and the ravens don´t fly around the mountain peaks anymore.

Many legends deal with disappearance. Once, a lost hunter is said to have suddenly appeared to his own mourning service one year after his disappearance. According to another myth, an entire wedding company including the band disappeared in the Untersberg for 100 years.

Perhaps the most mysterious story in recent times began on Aug. 14th of the year 1987: On this day, a couple from Munich, Hermann and Maria F., together with their friend Monika K. started for a mountain tour at Untersberg. After this day, the trio was missing without a trace, and was supposed to be dead. Three months later, in mid-November, the missing persons suddenly called from a telephone on a ship in the Red Sea.”

As we walked arm and arm through plush green fern Ute and I seemed to mystically morph. The sister love was palatable. I suddenly had several images and a strong past life memory of us and who we had been to one another. Another image was of a rock made of marble and it was in the shape of a human heart. I saw a cut right down the middle as if it had been precisely and cleanly cut in half. I knew this vision had great relevance to our intertwining. After hours we descended the mountain following along the path of the water falls which we had drank from earlier. As we began scouring through the shallow waters looking for a token rock to take home with us to commemorate this day I suddenly looked down and low and behold, THERE IT WAS! The human heart shaped rock I had seen just minutes earlier in my vision. Ute paused wondering if we could dislodge it from its resting place buried amongst the other river stones. To our surprise it practically leapt into our hands. I took the right side home and she the left side. We climbed and danced and played as if we were children discovering a new secret hiding place. We drank from ancient water falls which seemed to cleanse us to the depths of our existence.  We prayed and meditated as we listened to the sounds of nature. We closed our eyes to behold the mystical creatures which live in this pristine haven. We came alive as we lay in rich plush beds of green fern and moss. We melded in a cosmic wonderland. It was one of those definitive magical experiences which happen to lots of people but many fail to see the magnitude of the moment and its ability to feed the soul.  This experience not only fed my soul but it feed every sense within me and continues to delight my soul with every remembrance.

Ariaa Jaeger, Author, “Ariaaisms~ Spiritual Food for the Soul now on Amazon.comImageImageIMG_8614

Songs from the Sea

It had been a challenging year filled with the monstrous, the mundane and the mystical. The sea had been calling me for months so when I arrived in Hawaii on April the 8th, the sand and surf were like old friends, washing in to greet my bare and hungry feet, flooding my soul with a stream of memories.

We arose early on the morning of the new moon, a great day to begin a new adventure for those traveling with me who had never experienced what me and thousands of others have, swimming with the wild dolphins of Kona. This was my 5th swim with these large gentle creatures of the sea, animals I have lobbied to help for more than 25 years. My friends and I had also been praying for a whale to show up even though we knew the whale watching season was over.

The morning began with a ritualistic prayer offered up by China Mike, our Hawaiian sea captain and owner of Sunlight on Water. With a blow of his handmade musical wind instrument, we paid homage to mother earth, the sun and sea, giving thanks for the opportunity, no, the privilege, to be a part of the magical dance of the dolphins. After instructions were offered to the newbies, dolphin protocol, the boat began the journey into deeper waters. Twenty minutes later, we arrived. Now in the middle of the Pacific, everyone putting on snorkel gear and fins, we leapt from the boat, dropping into the cold waters with a gasp, then in sweet surrender.

The ocean is a guarded beast, alive and full of its own secrets. Only 19 months had passed since I last swam these waters and navigated the dolphins’ azure blue terrain. I was broken then, after going through a series of events which had left me weak and heavy hearted, to say the very least.  I had gone to Hawaii knowing the only thing that could possibly heal my soul, was getting back into the water with these evolved creatures. I had flown first class to Maui where I spent the first 4 days wandering aimlessly through the rainforests and around the island and hotel, stopping to cry at every turn. In a desperate attempt to break the cycle of gloom and sorrow, I booked a flight to the Big Island and the Waikoloa Hilton, one of my favorite places in the world to vacation. When I arrived, I was beyond broken, I was exhausted from spending 5 days on Maui, an over-populated, traffic infested, honeymoon saturated, touristy, financially pillaging island, which has little to no beauty for me and nothing to offer  this world traveler.

I am speaking absolute truth when I tell you this; from the moment I landed on the Big Island and got into my rented Mustang convertible, I was a different person, suddenly re-energized and alive with wonder. The ancients and natives of Hawaii are keenly aware of the different energies which emanate from each island. Suffice to say, me and the Big Island are one, the energy so beautiful, peaceful and calming, I felt like I was home. As I drove the car from the airport to the Hilton with the top down and the wind dancing and winding through my hair, I was literally screaming with joy and woo-hooing like a cowgirl drunk on life!

The next day, as I swam in the ocean filming the beautifully playful dolphins, something interesting happened. I suddenly knew why so many tell of stories, that when they are close to drowning, the ocean seemed to summon them to surrender in a hauntingly beautiful liquid song. The sounds of the ocean are so unique with dolphins and whales chanting their mating calls, while the ocean itself, has a serene song all its own, but you have to really listen to hear. I have often thought, that only the spiritual beings who journey to the sea, are capable of hearing its vastness and breathe. Much like musical notes have their own vibration and energy, the ocean has its own unique musical signature too. There are vortexes in the ocean that are like a spiralization of dancing light which look something like a ceiling fan or windmill turning, and they are hypnotic and entrancing. You feel them capture you, mesmerized by the beauty as they harken you to surrender. It is one of mother earth’s many mysteries and one which engrossed, enthralled and perplexed me all at the same time.

Thankfully, time and dolphins heal all wounds and as I returned this time to swim with the dolphins, I was keenly prepared to meet the abyss and yet eager to greet those hauntingly mystical vortexes. Once again, as hundreds of dolphins surrounded me and playfully urged me to interact with them, I saw it again, that familiar, glistening funnel, inviting me to come in. Suffice to say, I love life with a passion but I tell you true, that I am certain of this; the hypnotic grave of the sea has a calming center for mariners and swimmers who have been consumed by it. Somehow it brings me peace to know that those who have died at sea were engaged and engulfed by the oceans song. The song of the sea gives life to those who need respite or restoration and gently takes life, for those who need a change of planet, yet in both cases, the ocean does it with spinning light and a song.Image